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Worthless by, Vicki Leonardson

05/11/2020

"Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! There among those nations, you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair." Deuteronomy 28:63-65

There is much detail in Deuteronomy twenty-eight regarding the destruction of Israel if they chose not to obey God. Unfortunately, they chose not to obey God. 

And so...

"This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. The people of Israel had also secretly done many things that were not pleasing to the Lord their God. They built pagan shrines for themselves in all their towns, from the smallest outpost to the largest walled city. They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles at the top of every hill and under every green tree. They offered sacrifices on all the hilltops, just like the nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them. So the people of Israel had done many evil things, arousing the Lord’s anger. Yes, they worshiped idols, despite the Lord’s specific and repeated warnings.

Again and again, the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”

But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.

They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger.

Because the Lord was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the Lord their God, for they followed the evil practices that Israel had introduced. The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until he had banished Israel from his presence.

For when the Lord tore Israel away from the kingdom of David, they chose Jeroboam son of Nebat as their king. But Jeroboam drew Israel away from following the Lord and made them commit a great sin. And the people of Israel persisted in all the evil ways of Jeroboam. They did not turn from these sins until the Lord finally swept them away from his presence, just as all his prophets had warned. So Israel was exiled from their land to Assyria, where they remain to this day." 2 Kings 17:7-21


God was very specific.

"If you do this, you will be blessed beyond measure."

And He told them exactly how they would be blessed. 

"However, if you do this, you will be destroyed."

And He explained exactly how they would be destroyed.

I'm mystified as to why many folks choose not to serve God. 

"They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves." 2 Kings 17:15 

Are you struggling with commitment to God? Are you an unbeliever? 

Why?

1. You simply don't believe.

"And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him."
Hebrews 11:6

2. You are living in delusion, believing a lie.

"And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" 
2 Thessalonians 2:11

3. You are planning to serve God later in life. You are not ready to leave your current lifestyle which may be against God's word.

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone." James 4:14

4. You feel like God has forsaken you. Serving God hasn't worked out very well for you.

"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

5. You have been hurt by Christians or family.

"Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Luke 17:4

6. God is not drawing you any longer.

"For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me..." 
John 6:44

7. Living the Christian life is simply too hard.

"I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me." 
Romans 7:22-23

8. You are concerned about losing friends and/or family.

"Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close." Psalm 27:10

I'm sure there are more reasons for not serving God.

I can understand why you may feel like the bad sometimes outweighs the good for those who live for God. I agree, living for God can be difficult at times. But, if you are honest with yourself and God, you will find that the end reward, whether good are bad, is real. 

Look to the children of Israel and learn from their mistakes. Look to God for direction. He is waiting for you to lay all your doubts at His feet. Do you feel Him drawing you? I hope so. 

If He decides to cease gently tugging on our hearts, then we will no longer have hope. 

I'm reminded of another scripture. 

"He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Matthew 3:12

"Dear Jesus, there are those of us who are half-hearted in our walk with You. You continue to draw us and we continue to hang back. I pray that You will not give up on us! I pray that You will continue to draw us! We are helpless and hopeless without You, dear Jesus. We must continue to follow Your tug on our hearts, lest You stop drawing us. We don't want to become worthless chaff thrown into the fire. Forgive us, oh Lord! Thank You that You hear every prayer and see every tear. In Your precious name, we pray these things, AMEN."